The Piñata


Reading Time: 2 minutes

GREED IS WRONG, NO MATTER HOW WE MAY TRY TO EXPLAIN IT OR JUSTIFY IT.

Bible Reading of the Day: Read Ephesians 5:3-7.

Verse of the Day: “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15, NIV).

Lupe watched as her brother Manuel stood under the brightly colored donkey-shaped pinata. Manuel, who was celebrating his birthday, was blindfolded. He grasped a broomstick in both hands, and his father held the other end of the broomstick. Manuel waited for the signal.

Finally, Father let go of the broomstick, and Manuel swung it at the pinata, which he could not see. He turned around and around, swinging the broomstick wildly in all directions.

The children cheered each time Manuel touched the pinata. Finally, Manuel lifted the stick over his head and, with a mighty swing, broke the pinata open and sent pieces of candy spraying in all directions.

Lupe pounced on the candy that landed at her feet, then saw the pinata swaying by a thread from the ceiling. She picked up the broomstick her brother had dropped and touched the pinata, sending it tumbling to the floor at her feet. She scooped it up and shouted in excitement. It was still half filled with candy.

As she picked up her treasure, Lupe saw a little girl standing on the edge of the crowd, watching the children scrambling frantically after every piece of candy. Lupe noticed her tearful eyes and empty hands.

As she watched, two voices seemed to battle inside Lupe’s mind.

Look at her, one voice said. She doesn’t have any candy and you have more than anyone else.

But immediately another voice seemed to argue, You don’t have to give her your candy! You found every piece, fair and square.

But she’s so little, the first voice seemed to say, and she’s not getting any candy.

That’s her tough luck, said the second voice. There’s nothing wrong with keeping what’s yours.

In that moment, however, Lupe knew what she would do. She knew that hoarding all that candy to herself would be greedy, no matter how she tried to explain it to herself. And she knew that greed was wrong, not because she thought so, but because God thought so.

Lupe smiled as she walked over to the little girl. She crouched down in front of her and held out the pinata. “Take as much as you want,” she said.

TO DISCUSS: What does it mean to be greedy or stingy? Why are they both wrong? Do you think Lupe did the right thing? Why or why not? How did Lupe know what was the right choice?

TO PRAY: “Lord, help us to share with others with an open hand, instead of trying to keep everything for ourselves.”


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